Sunday, September 23, 2007

Questions about E.S. Denison

From: "Glenn G. Willumson" gwillumson@arts.ufl.edu

I am doing research on the photographs of the transcontinental railroad and I have come across a couple of questions with which I hope someone can help me. The first concerns E. S. Denison [Eli S., I believe]. He is selling Durgan stereographs of the railroad in 1869 and 1870. On the earliest Durgan stereographs, Denison's address is listed as No. 3 Front St. I assume that this is a railroad office. Does anyone know specifically what building it is? A little later on (early 1870, I think) he's selling Nelson's Pictorial Guidebook to Salt Lake City, Nelson's Pictorial Guidebook to the Union Pacific Railroad, and Nelson's Pictorial Guide-Book to The Yosemite Valley, and the Mammoth Trees and Geysers of California. I have seen copies of these books that have a stamp that reads: "E.S. Denison, News Agency, C.P.&W.P.RR. Front St. Opp. Depot, Sacramento." Is this the same building?

This leads me to ask what would a "general agent" or a "news agency" do for the CPRR? Is he an early public relations or marketing man? Does anyone know when the CPRR began to hire people who specialized in what we would consider public relations or marketing?

Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. And please feel free to let me know if you think my dates or information is incorrect. Thank you for your help.

—Glenn Willumson